In this edition of the Ministry Minded Podcast, you’re invited back to “the corner” where I reflect on last week’s sermons and offer some insight on how to make your morning routine better. Truth be told, I’m an early riser. I have always been that way, and it hasn’t changed that much since having children (I just have more company when I’m up early!). But even if you don’t get up early, one thing we likely all do in the mornings is unplug our phones from their chargers, unlock them, and begin our daily dosage of social media consumption. I confess to doing this same thing most mornings — and it is, perhaps, the most unhelpful way to begin a day. The anxiety-inducing stories aren’t the best things to try and digest at dawn. There are certainly much more beneficial things to read and consume after waking up, and I’m determine to let those things become more integral to my daily routine. “Fruitful and acceptable worship begins before it begins,” maintains Rev. Alexander Maclaren. “What likelihood,” he continues, “is there that much good will come of worship to people who talk politics or scandal right up to the church door? Is reading newspapers in the pews . . . a good preparation for worshipping God?”1 These words have convicted me in a number of ways. It is my prayer that I would become more rigid with my morning routines, especially as I prepare my heart to worship the Lord and fellowship with the Lord’s people. May you be blessed by these thoughts through the course of this episode. Soli Deo Gloria. Amen.
“The forgotten deliverer and the résumé of the cross,” article by yours truly
“Pushing on a pull door,” article by yours truly
The Books of Esther, Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, Alexander Maclaren
Fresh Roasted Coffee: a locally owned and operated coffee house in the heart of Central Pennsylvania that produces the freshest coffee and delivers it at peak drinkability. Use offer code “GRACE10” at checkout to get a discount off your next order.
I’m Brad Gray and I serve as the Senior Pastor of Stonington Baptist Church in Paxinos, Pennsylvania, where I live with my wife Natalie, daughter Lydia, and son Braxton. Besides pastoring, I spend most of my time writing, reading, and ministering in many more ways. I am resolved to faithfully and fervently propagate the gospel of “grace upon grace” for the weary and the worn out. It is my sincerest desire to live and minister all “for the sake of the Name.” (3 Jn 1:7) So long as Christ is exalted, that is enough.
Intro music: “Explorers (Instrumental Version)” by The Midnight, The Midnight Music LLC, 2018.
Alexander Maclaren, The Books of Esther, Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes (New York: Armstrong & Son, 1908), 351–52.